Anti-Virus and Endpoint Security Tools
Anti-virus (AV) and anti-spyware (AS) tools are a critical piece of protecting computing devices. They are used for protecting your computer from viruses, trojans, and other malware.
For NSU owned computers, we use Sophos Endpoint Protection. It is the program OIT supports. NSU faculty and staff can contact Client Services for more information about Sophos.
For personal computers, whether faculty, staff or student owned, there are many free options. While NSU does not endorse nor take responsibility for user's installing these products, it is important that everyone use some sort of malware protection.
There are two types of malware protection programs available, primary and secondary. Primary programs will scan the entire computer, monitor activity on the computer and automatically update their programming and definitions. There can only be one primary program installed. If there are two, then they will start detecting each other as malicious and try to disinfect each other. This often leads to corrupt files and system crashes. Secondary programs are meant to supplement primary programs. They can be installed as an additional layer of protection. Keep in mind, if your computer is already infected, installing one of these could cause your system to become corrupt. It is recommended to do a security scan with an online scanning program, detailed a little later.
Free Primary Endpoint Protection For Windows PCs and Tablets:
- AVG from GRISoft - Recommended for newer computers and includes the most security features of the list. They even offer free support. Go to http://free.avg.com for more info.
- Avast - Highly regarded by students. Available from http://www.avast.com
- Avira - Boasts effortless protection and ease of use. Available from www.avira.com.
- Microsoft Security Essentials - Not as robust or rated as highly as others, but, it is built by Microsoft and works seamlessly in Windows.
Did you know that the Nortons, Kaspersky, and McAfee protection that comes with a new PC is not active? You still have to activate it after you buy the PC or it does not protect your computer. AND, when you activate the trial, it is only good for 30, 60 or 90 days! After that, they want you to subscribe and pay for them. You can pay for it yearly. They offer support and use on multiple computers with one license.
Free Secondary Protection Tools For Windows PCs and Tablets:
- Windows Automatic Updates - It's built in! Turn it on! Let it run every night and update. Most bugs and attacks can be prevented by keeping your system up to date.
- MalwareBytes - Designed to add additional protection to the primary AV. The free version does not run in the background like regular AV programs. It requires manual updating and scanning, but, will find things your AV will miss. Available from http://www.malwarebytes.org/
- SUPERAntiSpyware - This one digs into the temporary files that your browser stores and looks for those trackers and cookies that are often used to send info about you and what you do to marketers and attackers. Much like MalwareBytes, it requires manual updating and scanning. Available from http://www.superantispyware.com/
- Secunia PSI (Personal Software Inspector) - Secunia is one of the most respected security companies in business. They often discover new malware and vulnerabilities, warning consumers and manufacturers. PSI is a tool used to automatically update third party software like Java and Firefox. Available from http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/.
Free Primary Endpoint Protection For MACs:
MACs do get viruses! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Here, at NSU, many students with MACs come to school with a MAC infected with the Flashback virus! We see know! We see it! So, find yourself a good free MAC AV. We use Sophos for NSU computers, including MACs, and, that same client can be downloaded for free from their site. Sophos for MAC Home Edition information can be found at http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-antivirus-for-mac-home-edition.aspx.
Free AV for your mobile device. Check your app store for more info:
- Lookout Security
In today's computing environment, tablets and smartphones should also be protected. Did you know that mobile devices are the fastest growing platform for attacks? Attackers can get more info to use for other attacks from your phones than from your computer!
Online Scanning Tools:
Sometimes, we just don't know what's wrong with our PC. It is slow to respond, hangs while trying to do simple tasks, or just doesn't act right. Try one of the online scanning tools. Most major AV companies have one. Some are even bundled with other software. Here are few to check out:
- McAfee - http://home.mcafee.com/downloads/free-virus-scan
- Kaspersky - http://usa.kaspersky.com/DOWNLOADS/free-anti-virus-scan
- Nortons - https://security.symantec.com/NSS/GetNSS.aspx
- Sophos - http://www.sophos.com/products/free-tools/virus-removal-tool.aspx